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 Post subject: Kugellager's KJ Mods and Fabrication
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:20 am 
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This thread details the mods I made over the years since I bought my 2005 Jeep Liberty Sport in July of 2005. I will edit this post to reflect the current specs and mods from time to time.

This is current as of 4/25/2009

2005 white KJ Sport
3.7L V6
6-speed manual transmission
NP241J transfer case with 2.72:1 ratio gears - Note: This is NOT the NV241OR Rock Track with 4:1 gear ratio - The NP241J is sometimes referred to as the NP231 HD or Heavy Duty and has a wider chain and 1/2 of the heavier duty shell of the 241OR
3.55 Stock gears in crappy Dana 30a (front) and Chrysler 8.25 (rear)
Full stock KJ skids
US Wheel 84 Series Black Daytona Wheel size 16" diameter by 7.00" wide with 4.00"backspacing
Goodyear Wrangler Dura Trac size 245/75 R16 Load Range E
All J Boulderbars
All J 2.5" Frankenlift With Old Man Emu springs in front struts and rear suspension - Rancho Shocks.
JKS Quick Disconnects With mods
Al's Upper A-Arms4th Generation
Moog K3199 LBJ
Class IV Front Reese Hitch - No Longer Made
Class III/IV Rear Hidden Hitch
Warn Class III Receiver Shackle Bracket Front & Rear
ARB front (RD101) and rear (RD93) air lockers
Master Flow MF-1050 air compressor for onboard air and to run the air lockers
Slee Off Road Air Manifold
Viair Pressure Switch set for 85/105 psi on/off
Staun Tire Deflators - WARNING! There are poor quality Chinese knock-offs out there on ebay! Make sure you purchase them from a reputable dealer!
Gutter guard-screening grille inserts.
Upgraded from 19" to 21" wiper blades Anco 31-21

Lighting & Electronics
Sylvania Silverstar 9005 ST with modified base in my fog lights
Custom light bar with 4x100 watt H3 bulbs in Hella 500 lamps
Cheapie 2x55 watt rectangular rear lights
Cobra Model 19 Ultra CB with Cobra HG M75 Microphone
Tiger ST-4 48" CB antenna from Everhardt
Wilson Cell Phone antenna
Ambicom GPS-CF compact flash GPS card with external antenna.

Engine
Fabbed cold air intake
Fabbed smooth-wall 3" intake pipe

John
];')

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245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


Last edited by Kugellager on Sat May 30, 2009 2:20 pm, edited 46 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:36 am 
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I have finally finished my light bar/CB antenna mount and have installed the lights and wiring. The lights I installed are Hella 500's with 4x55w H3 light bulbs and the CB antenna is a ST-4 48" Tiger antenna from Everhardt on a spring base.

The rack is constructed out of 1" diameter 1/16" thick square steel tubing welded to brackets cut from 3/16" mild steel. Each bracket is attached to the front of the stock roof rack brackets by 2-2x1/4" bolts with nylock nuts. Each bolt goes completely through the composite roof rack bracket. You might be wondering on the strength of the composite. The composite material of the roof rack brackets is between 3/16" and 1/4" thick and quite strong. I can use the light bar as a hand hold that seem to be as sturdy as the stock roof rack. Regardless it is plenty strong to hold 4 Hella 500's and a 48" CB antenna on a spring mount.

Anticipating a near future upgrade; I wired the system to handle 4x100w H3 light bulbs. I used a 30A relay and 15 amp fuse for each individual light circuit instead of one relay for each pair of lights as they come with in the package. I wired a seperate fuse block with six circuits for the lights and relays and mounted it to the steel support panel of the dash access under the steering wheel. I ran 2-10 gauge braided power supply wires directly from the battery to the fuse block so that it will enable me to run the lights whether the key is in the ignition or not. The remainder of the wiring is all in 14 gauge braided wire (not solid) The steel support panel and the lightbar were grounded to the chassis using braided ground wire and suitable mount points. In the case of the dash ground strap I attached it to a ground bolt under the dash where some of the stock electrical system is grounded. The roof rack ground straps are run from eack light bar mounting bracket to the roof with self-tapping screws. Proper grounding of the light bar is critical for proper operation of the lights as well as the CB. In addition to the 4-15 amp light circuits; there is one 10 amp circuit for the relay operation and light switches which are lit themselves. The relay control circuit and switch lights are grounded to the grounded support bracket mentioned above.

The wires for the lights and CB antenna run down the channels on either side formed by the door seal at the top of the door to where the hinge is and then into the dash through the fuse panel or access panel on either side of the dash. Light wires down the driver channel and CB antenna wire down the passenger channel.

The upgrade to the high wattage bulbs is easy as the 100w bulbs only run $5-6 a piece. I do plan to upgrade my alternator first from the 130A alternator to a 160A alternator that Jeep/DC also makes for the Liberty. The system will certainly need the extra current capacity.

I tested the whole system out and ran the Headlights (55w), Upgraded foglights (65w) and all 4 lights on the lightbar (220w) it all seems to work well at this stage. The system is controlled by two lit toggle switches mounted in the dash on the small removeable dash strip to the left of the steering column. One switch for the outer pair and the other for the inner pair of lights.

If anyone would like a template of the 3/16" steel mount brackets; you should just be able to print out the photo of the template below and adjust the printer scale/zoom so that the 1" scale line in the image prints out 1" long. From there everything should be about the same measurement as it is in the photo. Note: I cut the brackets from a 3/16" thick by 3" wide steel flat I purchased at Home Depot. You can carefully position the template along the three inch wide steel to get it to fit just perfectly if it is in the same general orientation as the image on this post.

Full Package.
Image

Front View.
Image

Side View.
Image

Bracket Mount Closeup.
Image

Bracket Gound Point Closeup.
Image

Electrical Closeup. In this last shot you will see the ground strap on the left attached to the steel support of the dash panel which runs to a stock ground bolt on the chassis under the dash on the left. Just to the right of the ground strap are the two red 10 gauge power supply wires coming directly from the positive (+)battery post. The power supply wires attach directly to the 6 circuit fuse block where you can see the four 15 amp light fuses and the 10 amp relay control fuse. The two oval, lighted, on/off switches can be see at the top of the photo mounted to the small grey removeable dash panel just above the fuse panel. Near the center of the photo you can see the 4-12v/30 amp relays for the light circuits. Lastly, you can see to the right of the fuse block, the grounds for the relays and the switch lights. I don't have the inclination (aka too lazy) to draw up the electrical circuit for it all but I do have it all in my head if anyone has any questions.
Image

Some wiring installation and completion detail shots.
Image

Here is a template for the light bar brackets.
Image

John
];')

_________________
05 4x4/3.7L/6 Spd
245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


Last edited by Kugellager on Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:41 am 
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whats it look like with the dash put back together?

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other mods coming soon...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:42 pm 
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0311_DoC wrote:
whats it look like with the dash put back together?


The panel is the standard unmodified (other than fuse block and wiring) dash access panel that pulls open relatively easy and snaps closed to put it back together. You can see one of the metal snaps in the lower right corner of the photo. The identical one is out of the photo but snaps into the black slot/hole just under the switches and slightly to the left. The dash looks completely stock when the panel is closed other than the two switches. Ill try to get a photo tomorrow if you want one.

Added some detail shots to my original post...one showing what the dash looks like after installation was complete...Only difference is the switches.

John
];')

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05 4x4/3.7L/6 Spd
245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


Last edited by Kugellager on Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:54 pm 
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Any problems with glare on the windshield from the lights on the roof? It looks like they are far enough back to not be an issue, but ya never know. I may see about doing that on mine, then swap out the bumper lights for some fogs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:16 pm 
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corwyyn wrote:
Any problems with glare on the windshield from the lights on the roof? It looks like they are far enough back to not be an issue, but ya never know. I may see about doing that on mine, then swap out the bumper lights for some fogs.
No...Once I did a quick point/alignment they caused no problems. At first they were just hitting the front edge of the hood, but repointing them took care of that. I still need to take it somewhere where I can do a good long distance alignment but for now they are fine.

John
];')

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245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


Last edited by Kugellager on Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:28 pm 
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Let me know how it works out when you put the 100W bulbs in those Hellas. I tried calling them to see if i could just put in 100W bulbs, i suggested that i would upgrade the wiring to whatever it needed to be to handle the draw of the 100W bulbs, but the guy at Hella said i would probably melt the light housings or crack the glass. It sounded like bull to me, but i didn't want to risk it considering i'm broke and can't afford a new pair of $80.00 driving lights. Also, do you have a link to that 160A alternator, i should probably pick one of those up too...

Thanks,
-Savage-

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:42 pm 
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I will do that when I upgrade. I will strongly take into consideration what they said to you and torture test only one lamp with the 100w bulb. The construction is such that the lense and metal reflector are one piece that fits into the plastic housing. If there is any melting to be had it would be where the lamp assembly mounts to the plastic. I would also care to speculate that the at the contact area between the glass and plastic is where the glass would be the coolest. I will do a careful testing for sure and watch for sofrtening of the plastic. I'm pretty sure the glass is some sort of pyrex and should not crack...though if it were excessively cold at the time that might be an issue.

John
];')

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245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:20 pm 
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Yea, i've taken the lamps apart several times...it seems to me to be robust enough to take a 100W bulb, but the wiring would definately need to be re-done. Let me know what you find, also, what gauge wiring did you use on your set-up?

I have actually heard of the glass cracking on these lights, someone put the light covers on while the lights were still hot, and the difference in temperature cracked the glass....i think Hella sent them a replacement though.

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Silver 2002 Grand Cherokee Overland (Not running as of 12/30/2014. Suspect dropped valve seat)

White 2003 Liberty Limited (RIP)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:40 pm 
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SavageSS27 wrote:
, also, what gauge wiring did you use on your set-up?
I used two 10 gauge lines to the fuse block and 14 gauge for everything else.

John
];')

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05 4x4/3.7L/6 Spd
245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


Last edited by Kugellager on Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:58 pm 
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Thanks for the info, let me know how the 100W bulbs work out...

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Silver 2002 Grand Cherokee Overland (Not running as of 12/30/2014. Suspect dropped valve seat)

White 2003 Liberty Limited (RIP)

L.O.S.T. #: DV053827


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:46 pm 
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Thanks for the support guys ;).

Here's another question regarding light bars in general.

Where do I want these lights to point? These are "pencil" beams and not the wide spread fog lamps. What I have done is point them so that they fall a little past the brightest spot/edge of where the stock fogs drop off and splayed them out a bit so they are pointing in a horizontal line/oval about 75-100 ft in front of the vehicle. Is there any rule of thumb where it is best to point them or do I just point them where I think they should go?

SavageSS27 wrote:
Let me know how it works out when you put the 100W bulbs in those Hellas. I tried calling them to see if i could just put in 100W bulbs, i suggested that i would upgrade the wiring to whatever it needed to be to handle the draw of the 100W bulbs, but the guy at Hella said i would probably melt the light housings or crack the glass. It sounded like bull to me, but i didn't want to risk it considering i'm broke and can't afford a new pair of $80.00 driving lights. Also, do you have a link to that 160A alternator, i should probably pick one of those up too...

Thanks,
-Savage-


Regarding upgrading to the 100W bulbs. I bought one H3 100W Sylvania bulb today for testing purposes and placed it in one of the housings. I kept the lights on for about 1 hour 15 minutes before I was done. The glass does get hot to the touch where you cannot keep a non-calloused part of your skin on for long...This is noticeably hotter then the 55W bulbs but not so hot it would crack the glass IMO. The plastic housing was noticeably warmer than those with the 55W lamps but no where near getting close to melting at all. In addition I felt the glass at the edges of the lense where it contacts the plastic and it was cooler that at the center of the lense. Definitely not hot enough to melt the plastic.

All said and done I would still do this at your own risk. My testing was NOT scientific by any means and only lasted an hour and 15 minutes. Longer on times and offroading vibrations may cause problems. Nonetheless I do plan on replacing the other three lamps with the 100W bulbs.

John
];')

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245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:13 pm 
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Kugellager: Keep us posted as to the long term effects from running 100W bulbs, thanks!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:25 pm 
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i love what you did w/ that, I only have one question that i am not sure has been asked yet. Do you get any noise at higher driving speeds 60-75 mph. Maybe it isnt an issue with you becuase you dont drive long distances but just asking! THanks

-Nick

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:44 pm 
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SavageSS27 wrote:
BB,
Well i guess my argument is that after he put all that hard work into it, and yes he probably did scratch it installing it,
Yes that is/was the case and I touched it up right after. I put the pics up before the sparkling clean version as I had been asking light bar questions and talking about constructing it for several weeks in other threads and wanted to get it up quickly. It looks much cleaner now...Though I’m sure before long it will be scratched up more than it is in those photos ;).

SD-KJ wrote:
I love what you did w/ that, I only have one question that i am not sure has been asked yet. Do you get any noise at higher driving speeds 60-75 mph. Maybe it isnt an issue with you becuase you dont drive long distances but just asking! Thanks
I do notice some a wind noise above 60-70 mph; but I would have to say that it is minimal. That kind of stuff (wind/tire noise) is not an issue for me as it can be with some people.

Lastly, yesterday I installed the 100W bulbs and tested the system out. I turned all 4 overhead lights on in addition to my headlights and 65W foglights and attempted to start the car with all that current drain(total of 640W). I was amazed it started right up without any 'chugging' effect. I still intend to get the 160 amp alternator as I'm sure the electrical system would benefit from it. I will probably move up to a higher cranking battery at some point as well (maybe even a sealed optima). I will not be putting in a hi-powered stereo as I prefer practical mods geared toward offroading and I am happy with the stock system. I will probably not get a long-term field test of the lightbar with the 100W lamps in it for some time; but when I do I will be sure to report back here with any problems/comments/tips.

John
];')

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245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


Last edited by Kugellager on Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:57 pm 
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Cool, i should be getting my paycheck today, so i'll probably be going out to grab some 100W H3 bulbs and some 10ga. wire...then i will definately be needing to get a new battery (most likely an optima). Thanks for all your help, glad to hear that the 100W bulbs aren't causing any problems, i can't really think of any times that i'd have my Hellas on for more than an hour and fifteen minutes, but it's good to know that they'll last at least that long :lol: Besides, i think that the lights are going to be as hot as they're gonna ever get after 1:15.00

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Silver 2002 Grand Cherokee Overland (Not running as of 12/30/2014. Suspect dropped valve seat)

White 2003 Liberty Limited (RIP)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:38 pm 
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Kugellager: Looks good! Much, much better than my homemade lightbar.

You may want to change the way your wiring enters the cabin though. When I first installed mine I had the wires crossing over the door seal in exactly the same place as you. After one hard rainstorm I found that water was running through the tiny gap in the seal and had soaked my carpet.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:21 pm 
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FreedomKJ wrote:
You may want to change the way your wiring enters the cabin though. When I first installed mine I had the wires crossing over the door seal in exactly the same place as you. After one hard rainstorm I found that water was running through the tiny gap in the seal and had soaked my carpet.
Hmmmm...very interesting. I'm wondering if it was running down the wire itself? What was your solution? We don't get much rain here but I'd still rather not have that happen when it does.

John
];')

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05 4x4/3.7L/6 Spd
245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:46 pm 
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Kugellager wrote:
FreedomKJ wrote:
You may want to change the way your wiring enters the cabin though. When I first installed mine I had the wires crossing over the door seal in exactly the same place as you. After one hard rainstorm I found that water was running through the tiny gap in the seal and had soaked my carpet.
Hmmmm...very interesting. I'm wondering if it was running down the wire itself? What was your solution? We don't get much rain here but I'd still rather not have that happen when it does.

John
];')


It may seem silly, but when the wire crosses through the door seal, I'm thinking that if it is crossing horizontal or upward that it will wick less rain in than if it is running angled downwards. Assume that the water is going to run down the wire, but if the wire hits a low point before entering the cabin, it'll drip there instead of dripping inside.I'd be tempted to test the wiring with a bucket of water to pre-emptively protect against rain leakage.

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4x4, 6spd, Leather, Sunroof, trak-loc, skids/rails, hitch+shackle, hooks, Alpine/iPod, Thule, GPS, CB, Frankenlifted w/ 31" MTRs
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:24 pm 
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Se7enLC wrote:
It may seem silly, but when the wire crosses through the door seal, I'm thinking that if it is crossing horizontal or upward that it will wick less rain in than if it is running angled downwards. Assume that the water is going to run down the wire, but if the wire hits a low point before entering the cabin, it'll drip there instead of dripping inside.I'd be tempted to test the wiring with a bucket of water to pre-emptively protect against rain leakage.
That's not silly at all. It's the same thing you see when a wire runs through a wall into a house for the same reasons you mentioned. I'm not sure why I did not do that with my wires...I may have to do that. I don't think I have enough extra slack in my wires to form a loop/bend in the wires like that. Maybe I could put a blob of silicone sealant at some point to divert any runoff before it gets to the seals. I'll have to give that a try.

John
];')

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05 4x4/3.7L/6 Spd
245/75R16 GY Dura Trac
Lots of Mods! :D
My Wheeling Videos :JEEPIN:
My Mods, Upgrades and Custom Fabrications


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